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Symbolism and allegory have been used in the presentation to aid in a clear understanding of the nature of the Dis city and the nature of characters. In literary work, symbolism is the use of symbols for multiple interpretations while allegory is the direct representation of concepts or ideas with a one on one relationship. “Sea of wisdom…” (Inferno 8, line 7) is symbolically used to represent a person who is more knowledgeable and experienced and offers guidelines to the inexperienced colleague. The narrator refers to his colleague with a conviction that he is fully aware of the response to his queries about their surroundings. “The ancient prow…” (Inferno 8, line 29), is allegorically used to represent an old boat. The author uses “…dogs…” in inferno 8, line 42 to refer to the gatecrashers or those showing up in places they are not invited. The master notes that the people of Dis city have “eternal fire that burns inside them…” (Inferno 8, line, 73). This is meant to warn the narrator that the city dwellers are hostile and inhuman to strangers. They even further refer to their city as “…kingdom of dead…” inferno 8, line 85, wondering how this stranger has managed to penetrate their territory without being killed. The narrator refers to his leader as a master and mentor all through the play meaning his role inter coupled with that of protecting him. He also refers to the snake as the frog’s enemy directly implying that a snake predates frogs. “Pallor cowardice…” (Inferno 9, line 1) represents fear that overwhelmed him.
They were former friends. The two met in Dis and recognized each other due to their earlier relationship on earth. Brunetto was a paternal figure to Dante when he was alive. The man’s soul looks troubled and frail to a point where Dante had difficulty in recognizing him at first. Brunetto is already doomed to eternal pain while Dante is still alive although on a visit to Lucifer’s residence, Dis. He acted as a paternal figure to Dante when he was alive, “the cherished, kind, paternal image of you…” (Inferno 15, Line 83). Their destinations are also different, as that of Dante seems to favor his future while Brunetto is already doomed.
He presents him as an, “emperor of the woeful kingdom…” who inflicted eternal suffering to his followers, for example, Judas Iscariot. Dante could discern his presence even in the darkness that engulfed the Dis due to the wind currents after flapping his featherless wings. He is colossal in size that Dante compares himself to him by saying that he “…is closer to a giant than giants are when measured to his arms…” (Inferno 15, line 31). His physical features are represented as a replica of a creature capable of inflicting sorrow to humanity. His subjects are already undergoing eternal suffering under the hands of merciless Lucifer. This implies that he is remarkably tiny compared to him. Dante describes him as having three faces in one head. The one above was red in color. The other two joined with the red one above midpoint. He drooled blood red saliva and his teeth were, “…just like hackle pounding flax…” that he used to gnaw on his subjects. His presence is that of a king of a woeful kingdom, “The emperor of the woeful kingdom…” (Inferno 34, line 28.)